Going to college can be an exciting time. You will get to meet new friends, find new opportunities, advance your education and gain a sense of independence. However, there are also some practical issues that may cause students difficulties. A major cause of concern for many students is living on a limited budget. For many, this will be the first time in their lives when they have had to take responsibility for budgeting and it can be tricky. Other than fees for tuition and accommodation, one of the largest expenses that students have to contend with is food. It is, therefore, important that students learn how to live and feed themselves on a budget. Here are some tips for students experiencing college life on how to cook on a budget.
Dried and tinned food
There are many advantages to stocking up your cupboards with dried food. First of all, they have a long-shelf life. This prevents food and monetary waste of having to throw away unused food. Secondly, items such as pasta and rice are really cheap to buy, yet can make substantial, filling meals. This is ideal for people who are cooking on a budget. Finally, dried foods offer diversity meaning that they can be used to make lots of different recipe options. Tinned foods have many of the same advantages, plus they are a cheap way of getting plenty of pulses and vegetables.
Buying food in bulk can save money as many stores offer discounts on multiple purchases. This is a particularly good idea for students who are house-sharing and can club their money together to share at the expense of grocery shopping.
Coupons and discounts
A simple way of sticking to a budget is to use coupons. These can be found in newspapers and magazines. Another option is to look online at coupon sites as there are regular offers available. These can be redeemed against purchases made in specific stores.
If you have access to as computer, grocery shopping on the Internet is an option. This will allow you to view the best deals from the comfort of your own home. It will also prevent impulse buys that you would have made had you physically gone to the store to buy the groceries.
In season produce
Buying food that is in season is a great way of saving money. In-season food is significantly cheaper than fruit and vegetables that are imported from other countries when they are out of season.
Grow your own vegetables
A great way of saving money and sticking to a student budget is to grow your own vegetables. This is possible even for students who have limited garden space or no garden at all as many vegetables can be grown in plant pots on the windowsill.
Sticking to a limited student budget can be difficult and grocery shopping can make a huge dent in this. However, by following the aforementioned tips and planning your shopping a little, there are many ways to make savings and afford your shopping on a limited budget.